Multiple internships pave the way for future career

Grace Howe sitting on a cement wall that reads "Iowa State University." The campanile is in the background, surrounded by leafy trees.
Grace Howe, senior in agricultural and rural policy studies and journalism and mass communication, completed five internships while at Iowa State. Her efforts to further her academic experience through these internships earned her the CALS Student Council Academic Achievement Award.

By Whitney Baxter

If anyone knows the importance of taking part in internships while in college, it is Grace Howe.

A senior double majoring in agricultural and rural policy studies and journalism and mass communication, Howe completed five internships while at Iowa State University. Her efforts to make the most of her academic journey through these experiences earned her the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council Academic Achievement Award.

Grace Howe wearing a graduation cap with a tassel.
Grace Howe

Growing up and experiencing her grandparents’ registered Holstein dairy farm, Howe selected her majors based on her background in agriculture and her passion for writing.

While on campus, she has been involved in the Dairy Science Club and the National Agri-Marketing Association Student Chapter. More recently, she became involved in the First Amendment Club and Womxn* in Pre-Law.

Howe’s first internship took place the summer after her freshman year, working at a co-op in Houston, Minnesota. She also interned at Queen Connection, using her background as a former Iowa dairy princess alternate to give back to the pageant industry.

A marketing communications internship with STgenetics allowed her to take what she was learning in her journalism classes and apply it to the real world. Her interest in law and politics was solidified during an internship with the Iowa Governor’s Office. Then last summer, an internship at Filament, a marketing agency, offered her the chance to work with a variety of customers – from dairy farmers to agronomy clients.

“Each internship was a building block that allowed me to take what I’d learned in previous internships and classes and build upon my experience,” Howe said.

She will add another internship to her resume following graduation in December. She’ll join the National Pork Producers Council as a communications intern, serving in both Des Moines and Washington, D.C.

Thinking about people who have impacted her time on campus, Howe said Ramesh Balayar, assistant teaching professor and academic advisor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, brought a lot of positive energy to the agricultural and rural policy studies major.

“Grace is highly resilient and an example of dedication and perseverance,” Balayar said. “She is kind and deeply cares about others.”

Howe encourages students to be open to learning about diversity. Coming from a rural Iowa town, she was not exposed to much diversity growing up.

“Having the ability to meet new people of different backgrounds has been the most beneficial to me,” Howe said.

No matter what path students take at Iowa State, Howe encourages them to get involved, both within and outside their major, and take advantage of all available opportunities.

“Embrace it while you are here because it will go by so fast,” Howe said.